East of Eden

Family in East of Eden

What are the main themes and concepts around "family" in East of Eden?

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Last updated by jill d #170087
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We have two families here; the Trask family and their fortune represent "original sin." The family's fortune is accompanied by corruption; something passed down throughout history because of the first sin of Adam and Eve. The family also carries shades of Cain and Abel.

Innate evil is another theme in this story, and although the author writes a story in which we cheer for the characters to make good choices rather than bad; we see that characters like Cathy are "bad" with no hope of acting otherwise.

Our other family, the Hamiltons, are the people you want to live with. Mr and Mrs Hamilton are the ideal parents; they love each other, work for their money, and pay attention to their children.

So we have:

original sin

Cain and Abel

innate evil vs free will

paternal rejection vs paternal favoritism


East of Eden